I was looking through my old photos to see if I have any pictures to post from that day. I don't. I have pictures from his baptism in the hospital on the 15th and then nothing until the 22nd. I don't remember why we didn't take pictures, but part of it could be because I went crazy. Like really, truly crazy. At first they told me I had adjustment disorder. I remember thinking, what woman wouldn't have trouble adjusting to this? Then later they called it a hypomanic episode. Whatever it was, I'm glad it's over now. Anyway, the only picture I have from that morning, someone else must have taken and it's a picture of us with all of our friends at breakfast that morning. Which is what the surgeon told us to go do while we waited. I do remember that we took one picture of Drew after surgery when his chest was still open, but we decided to delete it because we didn't want anyone to see our baby that way.
What a difference 5 years makes! In some ways it doesn't feel like it could have been five years ago. While Drew's scars have healed and are beginning to fade, mine can not be seen and they still feel fresh. It still stings when I think back to any of his surgeries or hospitalizations, or how scared we felt, how desperate and out of control. But then at other times it does seem so long ago--when I think to what we used to do on a daily basis. Eight medications, tube feedings, overnight feeds, multiple therapies, lots of doctor's appointments, plus all the normal baby stuff...it's a wonder we survived all of that!
And what is he doing today, five years after they cooled his newborn body, sawed through his sternum, stopped his walnut-sized heart, repaired his aortic arch and inserted a conduit, shocked his heart back into beating, then carefully sewed him up again? He is getting into trouble! He is playing with his sister, running around the house, shouting, jumping, laughing. If I could have known then what I know now...
Thank you God for giving us Drew. Thank you for pediatric heart surgery. Thank you for the strength to carry on. And thank you for each passing year and the healing it brings.
Drew, two days before surgery, 5 days old. Breathing on his own, an IV in each hand and an umbilical artery catheter